This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.

Rouleur Ltd publishes the acclaimed cycling magazines – Rouleur and Privateer. These are sold exclusively through subscription and IBDs only. For information please contact:

A memorial overlooking Eastbourne’s pier


GREETED ON the doormat it was a strong first impression from this town centre store. As one of the more talkative and confident sales

pitches of the day, Mystery Shopper was in store for as long as the duration of a beachfront parking ticket would allow. In that time Evolution's staff managed to remove bikes from the racks for me to get to grips with, make well reasoned comparisons between the value for money aspects of various brands and dispatch my questions about fitting extras such as guards with ease. Evolution was only one of two stores to mention

properly sizing me up to a bike, which you'd think is a necessity for this kind of purchase. Furthermore, beyond our discussion about guard fitting, the storekeeper also made strong attempts to toy with my semi flexible budget, recommending the purchase of a helmet and cycling shoes, should I choose to clip in. Resisting the urge to give away any detail that would allow me to order online, this store gave me real incentives to return for a purchase, using 2011 end of line discounts that “may not hang around for long” as a lure.

Tri Store

ONE OF the more spacious, well presented outlets in town, Tri Store carried a strong range from multiple brands, giving the assistant plenty to contrast and compare. Both pros and cons were had here, with the latter

centering largely around the assistant freely giving up the information on sizing that I’d need to go in order to shop online without any suggestion of why it’s best to buy (and size up) local when dropping £1,000 on a road bike.

There were, however, far more positives to take away,

with warranty of each brand in my price bracket covered, a discussion on the transition from flat pedals to clip ins and the intermittent personal recommendations, which ultimately gave this store a lot more character than other stores that had stuck to the hard facts. This was also the only shop to enquire about whether

my employer offered a cycle to work scheme, which according to the staffer “could see me walk away with a bundle of kit,” given my upper 1K budget.



CYCLEMAN APPEARED to stock a bit of everything, with a display outside and higher priced bikes inside. Perhaps just to Mystery Shopper’s taste, a manned workstand on the shop floor often makes a retail environment look cluttered. Nonetheless, it does get you seen quickly.

On that plus point, the assistant was able to step

away from his repair job and immediately begin selling bikes, flagging three up – one above my price range. Explaining the build in a jargon free manner, this Italian made Botecchia was compared to the lower priced Claud Butler’s in a concise fashion. Weight was first to be discussed and bikes were pulled from the racks for that hands on approach. The versatility of a flat barred bike with knobbly tyres was then touted, should I ever have the urge to return to my earlier discussed ‘off road roots’. When Mystery Shopper pushed the topic of add on sale pieces such as mudguards, the helper became a little more stand off-ish, providing no concise answers on whether or not the bikes in question could accommodate guards come winter.


IT’S TOUGH to say that any store really ‘nailed it’ on this visit. As strong as Evolution and Tri Store were, both had plus points over one another in certain areas – and were furthermore head and shoulders above others in town on this occasion. There’s plenty of competition in this coastal town and

there were a handful of other retailers Mystery Shopper could have visited had we enough room on the page. This, to me, says that if you’re going to be in business here you’ve got to be sharp and stand out in a customer’s mind once they’ve left the store. On this merit alone, Evolution will scoop this month’s Star Store.


Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56  |  Page 57  |  Page 58  |  Page 59  |  Page 60  |  Page 61  |  Page 62  |  Page 63  |  Page 64  |  Page 65  |  Page 66  |  Page 67  |  Page 68  |  Page 69  |  Page 70  |  Page 71  |  Page 72  |  Page 73  |  Page 74  |  Page 75  |  Page 76  |  Page 77  |  Page 78  |  Page 79  |  Page 80